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All Intercession Belongs To God: Simple Truth Testified By Both Human Nature And The Universe

Islamic Perspectives - Muslim Journals

Arab News & Information - By Adil Salahi

The first two verses in this passage instruct Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) to declare to those who deny his message that he is determined to go his own way. Let them choose their way. In the end, everything will be settled by God Almighty. “Say: My people! Do all that may be in your power, and I will do what I can. You shall come to know who will be visited with humiliating suffering and who shall be smitten by long-lasting suffering.” Do what you can, the way you wish. I am going my way entertaining no desire to change or deviate even slightly from it, free from worry or anxiety. You will come to know who will suffer humiliation in this life and everlasting punishment in the life to come.

Once this simple truth testified by both human nature and the universe at large has been presented, confirming that God is the Creator of the heavens and earth, and that the message advocated by prophets and their followers comes from Him, who in the whole universe can affect anything? Who can protect others from harm or withhold mercy from them? Since no one has any power to do so, what would they fear, and what would they hope for?

Such is the reality of the situation between God’s messengers and all earthly forces opposing them. The question then is what is their message, and how should they react toward those who deny them?

“We have bestowed on you this book from on high, setting out the truth for mankind.” The truth is the nature of this book: it is clear in the law it sets out and in its system: it is on the basis of this truth that the universe is sustained; the truth that links the code of human life outlined in this book to the system of the universe. This truth has now been bestowed on mankind giving them guidance on how to live by its provisions. You, Prophet, are only the means to deliver it to them. It is up to them to choose what they wish for and how to deal with it. Each one of them can choose either guidance or error, and each will define his or her own fate. No responsibility attaches to you for what they choose: “Whoever follows its guidance does so for his own good, and whoever goes astray shall do so at his own peril. You are not responsible for them.”

It is God who has power over them. They are in His hands when they are asleep or awake, or indeed in all situations and conditions. He determines what to do with them: “God takes away people’s souls upon their death, and the souls of the living during their sleep. He keeps with Him the souls of those whose death He has ordained and sends back the others until their appointed time.” God gathers the souls of those who die, and He also takes away people’s souls when they are asleep, even though they are not dead. During sleep, these souls are temporarily removed. If the term of some is over, God will retain their souls and they cannot wake up. Those whose term of life continues will have their souls returned and they will wake up. Thus, people’s souls are in God’s hands whether they are asleep or awake: “In all this there are signs for people who reflect.”

Such being the case, with the Prophet having no responsibility for others, it is up to each of them individually: If they follow divine guidance, they benefit themselves; and if they choose error, they bear the responsibility for their choice. They will have to face the reckoning, for they will not be left unaccountable. What hope, then, do they have for salvation? “Have they chosen others besides God to intercede for them? Say: Why, even though they have no power over anything and no understanding? Say: All intercession belongs to God alone. His alone is the dominion over the heavens and the earth; and to Him you will all in the end return.” The question here is sarcastic, referring to their claims that they worship the statues of angels in order that these bring them closer to God. They are asked: “Why, even though they have no power over anything and no understanding?” The question is followed by an emphatic statement that all intercession belongs to God: It is He who permits whomever He wishes to intercede. Do they think that attributing partners to God is the way to achieve intercession?

“His alone is the dominion over the heavens and the earth.” No one can defy His will in His kingdom, where all dominion belongs to Him alone. “And to Him you will all in the end return.” There is no escape, simple.

 

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